Enquirer Herald

End of Course test show progress

York and Clover students showed improvements in some areas last week when the S.C. Department of Education released student scores on 2007-08 end-of-course tests.

S.C. Superintendent of Education Jim Rex said he was encouraged statewide by the gains on the tests, but considers overall scores too low.

"A key issue is whether teachers are covering specific material that students need to master before taking these tests," Rex said in a news release. "Are they covering the academic standards in their classrooms? And even if they are, are they doing it in effective ways?"

Rex last year directed the agency to devise materials to help teachers better prepare students for the tests. More than 600 middle and high school teachers have been trained with new curriculum guides, according to the education department. It's not clear if any were from York County districts.

End-of-course exams, uniform statewide and worth 20 percent of a student's final grade in each course, are mandated by the state's 1998 Education Accountability Act. Scores also figure into school districts' annual ratings.

Students are tested in what educators call "core subjects" -- algebra, English, physical science and history. Most generally take those courses in high school, but advanced middle-schoolers take them as well.

The history exam, now in its third year, wasn't factored into student grades. History scores will be included in next year's results.

The exams, which count for 20 percent of a student's grade in each course tested, are mandated by the state as part of the 1998 Education Accountability Act. They're also used to calculate school district ratings.

For detailed results, click http://dev.ed.sc.gov/topics/assessment/scores/eocep/2008/default.cfm.

York

Algebra 1 / Mathematics for the Technologies 2

Students tested: 517

Mean: 75.9

% A: 4.3

% B: 14.3

% C: 25.3

% D: 29.2

% F: 26.9

English 1

Students tested: 399

Mean: 75.8

% A: 8.3

% B: 13.3

% C: 26.8

% D: 20.8

% F: 30.8

Physical Science

Students tested: 390

Mean: 71.5

% A: 5.9

% B: 12.3

% C: 17.9

% D: 19.2

% F: 44.6

Clover

Algebra 1 / Mathematics for the Technologies 2

Students tested: 457

Mean: 82.2

% A: 17.7

% B: 23.9

% C: 25.2

% D: 22.3

% F: 10.9

English 1

Students tested: 541

Mean: 78.1

% A: 9.6

% B: 18.5

% C: 31.2

% D: 20.0

% F: 20.7

Physical Science

Number Tested: 463

Mean: 78.7

% A: 19.4

% B: 16.0

% C: 20.7

% D: 17.7

% F: 26.1

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